A court has decided that a pet dog named The Undertaker will not be put down after it mauled a tiny puppy to death on a popular walking trail.
Claire Hancock, 38, appeared in front of Bodmin Magistrates' Court in Cornwall to be sentenced after her Japanese Akita mauled six-month-old Shih Tzu Oreo to death and bit its owner.
She had previously pleaded guilty to being the owner or person responsible for Undertaker, which chucked its victim around "like a toy", the court heard.
The attack took place on Sunday, April 18 at around 5pm, on the nearby Camel Trail, when Mike Hooper was walking his dog.
Hooper said he saw a 17-year-old girl, Hancock's daughter, approaching with the Akita, and as they got closer, the big dog went "mad", CornwallLive reports.
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It slipped its choke chain lead and "instantly" attacked Oreo, killing him with a swift bite to the back.
The court heard Oreo was far smaller than Undertaker and was described as a "little family lap dog".
Japanese Akitas can grow up to 41kg to 50kg and 60cm long, depending on the exact breed.
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Prosecuting, Lyndsey Baker told the court: "Mr Hooper saw the large dog and described it as a husky-type dog, which became wound up, barking and getting aggressive.
"The girl walking it looked a bit young to be walking a dog that big and was struggling.
"It broke out of its lead and instantly attacked Mr Hooper's dog, killing him by biting him on the back and chucking him around like a toy."
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Ms Baker said when Hooper tried to intervene he was bitten on both the leg and hand by Undertaker, causing him to bleed.
The girl then managed to get her dog back on his lead and walked home without exchanging details with Hooper.
In a statement read out in court, Hooper said: "I can hear Oreo screaming in pain when I try and sleep.
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"I feel utterly useless, I couldn't stop him from getting hurt, I am devastated and extremely angry she did nothing to help."
Hancock was accused of failing to take safety or control measures, and the prosecution had requested her imprisonment and the destruction of Undertaker.
But Hancock's defence said the dog, who has since been rehomed and renamed, is now being looked after by a family who are experts on dog breeds including Akitas, which were traditionally bred as fighting animals.
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Hancock was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a £140 compensation fine.
She was also handed an order banning her from keeping dogs.
Speaking after sentencing, Hooper told CornwallLive: "In my opinion, if it has done it once it'll do it again.
"If someone has this breed of dog, they shouldn't ever let them off a lead or a harness. To me, they should be licensed."
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